After months of speculation regarding the proposed regulatory changes for dependent children, it has been announced that new rules will come into effect on August 1, 2014. As a refresher, the current rules allow the following children to be deemed dependent:
- Children younger than 22 years of age; or
- Children who have been enrolled continuously in full-time education prior to the age of 22 and are actively pursuing the relevant academic, professional or vocational training on a full-time basis; or
- Children who are financially dependent on their parents due to a physical or mental condition.
As of August 1, 2014, only children who are 18 years of age or younger, or those financially dependent on their parents due to a physical and mental condition will be recognized as dependents. The exception regarding full-time students over the age of 18 will be eliminated. This will have important implications for families applying for permanent resident status, or those who will need to re-new their status documents. There is no transition period, and this change will be effective immediately on August 1, 2014.